Alba Longa is the ancient capital of Latium, on the Italian peninsula. The Roman Empire was born from this great city. However, behind the glory of what Rome became is a darker tale of secrecy, betrayal and death. Numitor is a good man and a great diplomat; his brother Amulius an envious plotter and brave conqueror. Their struggle for power will bring out the best of one and the worst of the other. Only one can be king. Rhea Silva (Lillia) is the daughter of Numitor, her first son will become heir to the throne. Her life is thrown into turmoil by events out of her control, putting her and her twin boys in mortal danger. The Hounds of Diana are the secret sect that protects the realm from within. Yet, there are those that would undermine it. Then, there are the Dormienti, the sleepers. Only when the Hounds call, do the Dormienti awaken, and only when death desires it.
Wow! That was a good read, I couldn’t put it down. The story is well written and the characters were fab - I’d never heard of Amulius before but he would give Nero a run for his money! I would defo recommend this to anyone who likes a good story or who is interested in Ancient Rome.
The Hounds of Diana are a sect who use secrecy and assassins to protect the kingdom of Latium. Two princes desire to rule the kingdom. The elder brother Numitor becomes king, but his younger brother eventually usurps him, leaving Numitor's heir, the Princess Rhea to be locked away in the temple of the vestal virgins. But Princess Rhea gives birth to twin boys... This story is expertly told where we enter into many different characters' point of views: kings and nobles, carpenters and shepherds, assassins and princesses, to watch this mega-drama play out until the birth of the mythical twins and their perilous journey in a basket, down river until they encounter the she-wolf who recently lost her cub. This story puts real flesh on the bones of a well-known myth and pulls you along with a thrill a minute historical drama.
This is a story based on Roman Mythology. Set in Alba Longa, Latium, Italy, starting at 788BC, We are introduced to Numitor, and Amulius, sons of the reigning king of Latium. Although Numitor is the eldest, and heir presumptive, the king feels that he isn’t cut out to rule alone. He decrees that upon his death, the princes will rule jointly, but with a council, who will vote on subjects of state if/when the princes do not agree.
Fast forward 15 years, the brothers rule jointly. However, Amulius is scheming to usurp power from his brother, he wants to reign alone. Numitor has a daughter, Princess Rhea. She too stands in the way of Amulius’s ambitions, as any children she may have would become heir presumptive.
Unbeknown to the royal family of Latium, there is a secret sect who watch over the country, and protect it’s rulers, The Hounds of Diana, named for the goddess Diana. They control far more of the country’s affairs than the monarch could possibly begin to understand.
A corrupt member of the sect, Brascus, plots alongside Amulius, and successfully usurps the throne from Numitor. Princess Rhea is placed into the care of The Vestial Virgins, sworn to celibacy for a period of 30 years. This should ensure that there are no dangers to Amulius’s reign, as Rhea will be beyond childbearing age after her vow expires. Nothing is ever simple though, right? Rhea is visited at night by the God Mars, who manages to place twin boys within her. She gives birth to the boys under the watch of the Vestial Mother, who confirms later that Rhea had not been pregnant when she arrived, and that she had continued her monthly bleeds throughout her stay. Rhea had given birth to twin boys, half royal princes, half gods, meaning they were descended from Latin Royalty, and a Greek God. These twin boys were to eventually be known as Romulus and Remus, Romulus being the eventual founder of Rome.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I can’t wait for the next part of the trilogy to be published.
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